Synopsis: One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she’s accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story. She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother’s home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.
Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer’s block and while he’s dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah’s stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What’s real? What’s imagined? Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge.
Well, I’m a widowed mom of two teenagers who lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Before becoming a published author, I worked as journalist and an advertising exec for a few decades. I wrote my first “book” when I was only 9 years old and it was 80 pages of blood and gore where no one survived at the end. I’m surprised my parents didn’t toss me into therapy! Thankfully, puberty hit and I started writing romance. Fiction has always been my passion, but until a few years ago it was simply a hobby. I’m very thankful to have crossed that line into publication.
Do you write full time?
Yes, I do.
What are 5 fun/interesting facts about you?
5 fun facts, huh? Hmm…let’s see.
1: I swam with sharks in Belize–very cool experience.
2: The top thing on my bucket list is to tango through Argentina from top to bottom.
3: I have a huge crush on Phil from the Amazing Race (believe me, I’d get to the finish line just to throw my arms around him every time! Ha)
4: I get very melancholy sometimes and need to simply be alone for a day.
5: I’m addicted to Diet Pepsi.
What are the “must haves” for you when you sit down to write a book?
Music is top on the list. I put on my headphones, crank up iTunes to my “writing playlist”, and shut out the world. I also need to have either Diet Pepsi or ice water. Candles are also a must–or incense, depending on my mood. I really have a cozy set up in my office. Even though it’s technically “work”, my office/writing space is truly a retreat of mine.
What made you decide to become a writer and how old were you?
I’ve always loved stories from as far back as I can remember. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota and used to crawl onto the roof of my parents’ house, stare at the horizon and dream big dreams. I started taking notebooks onto the roof with me where I’d sit and scribble out stories for hours. I was 9 when I wrote my first manuscript that I turned into a teacher for fun. After that, I’d pass the notebooks around in study halls all during high school and beyond. For the longest time, I thought it needed to be just a hobby. My late husband actually pushed me to take fiction writing more seriously and encouraged me to seek publication.
Who or what was your inspiration for writing Riptide?
Well, Riptide’s storyline was born from a personal experience I had when I was 25 and was harassed and attacked by a stalker. Although the experience of my characters in the book are much more dramatic, I did use my own emotions throughout–the memories of being hunted, questioning myself, starting life over afterward with that paranoia always in the back of my mind. The love story in Riptide is about triumphing over tragedy and truly hits a chord within me. The characters in this book are highly personal to me.
Do you feel that you can relate to one character in “this book” more than any other? And why?
Both Lauren and Noah, the leads in this story, are a part of my soul; however, Lauren and her struggle to overcome self-doubt and to start her life over after having it ripped apart are born of my own experiences.
What do you Love most about writing?
The high from creating, the challenge of merging a love story with a suspense plot (craft), and the freedom the writing lifestyle gives me to live my life around an only-parenting lifestyle.
What is your biggest challenge when you write?
I lose track of time and it becomes all-consuming. Balance is my main challenge. I sometimes need to set an alarm so that I have an end time or else I write for hours on end.
Do you have any advice for any other aspiring writers out there?
I have tons of advice! LOL I’ll try to narrow it down. Revise, revise, revise–you may feel triumphant after you’ve completed that first draft and written “the end”, but that’s only the beginning. You need to put that first draft down and return to it after a few weeks. Revision is key. Even after revising and thinking it’s perfect, you’ll be surprised what your editor finds! Trust me. Also, persevere. This is a tough business. Rejection is part of the game so don’t let it deter you. Revise, believe in yourself, persevere, compromise when it’s wise and you’ll get there.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I belly dance, practice yoga, hang out with my kids, socialize with friends, travel as often as possible, go to movies, hike, ski.
When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
I read just about everything. It really depends on my mood. I obviously love romantic suspense, but I also read true crime stories, romantic comedy, suspense, and non-fiction spiritual books.
Since becoming published, what has been your favorite part of the process?
Oh, I love having a team behind me (my publisher). I absolutely love my editor (kissing up, yes!). I’ve also been surprised at how much I enjoy things like this–promotion. I didn’t think I would, but it’s really fun getting to know my readers on my Facebook page, meeting book bloggers, etc.
If you can, tell us what is up next for you?
My next romantic suspense is called Reckless Endangerment. It’s about a wounded marine who returns to the US with PTSD and isn’t quite sure who he is anymore as a civilian. His wife is an investigative journalist who’s on the trail of a human trafficking ring. He’s not sure he wants to be married anymore, tying her down to him now, but he soon finds out that she needs him no matter what his condition or civilian status. The twist with this romantic suspense is that the couple is already married–which I really liked writing because they are fighting to keep their marriage in tact. Love truly is all powerful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she’s worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry. Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking post-graduate courses on a wide variety of subjects when time allows. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges, but who ultimately persevere.
Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she’s writing, she considers herself to be simply “a lucky lady liv’n the dream.
Melissa Rheinlander is a Momma to a beautiful, spunky, fun loving little girl. Lover of family, friends, books, Mexican Martinis, sometimes Bloody Marys or Margaritas, & Wine. Melissa has worked in publishing for years, helping International Best-selling authors. She is the owner of MSRheinlander Consulting as well as Biblio Babes.